The Hardest Magnet Assignments I’ve Had

Reminiscing on the toughest projects, homework, and labs at Academic Magnet


While known for its rigorous academics, Academic Magnet is not solely impossible assignments. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its fair share of hard assignments. In honor of these difficult times, I’m going to reminisce on the hardest Magnet assignments I’ve ever had. 

When coming up with this list, I immediately thought of the infamous Seminar IMP. This junior year struggle has haunted all 11th graders and will continue too, until AP Capstone is banned. Personally, my grade’s IMP fell on the same week as spirit week making for an extra fun stressful experience while dressed in a Harry Potter costume. Now I will admit a part of the stress was my fault, as I procrastinated completing the presentation, but other classmates who were much more diligent were still suffering. Our teachers explained that not too many points would be lost if we just read from note cards so many took that route. In fact, everyone in my seminar class could not find time to memorize their presentations and read straight from their notecards, which resulted in points off their rubric score. I still look back on that week as my personal worst week at Magnet but that’s pretty dramatic. My advice to future seminar IMP victims is to not leave everything up to the last minute and just read from a script.

I don’t know mine was pretty horrible

— Molly Schweickhardt

This next assignment is a freshmen year classic that involves spinach, a hole puncher, and colored lights. Yes, I’m talking about the biology spinach lab. I’m not sure if every grade has completed this with covid and all the changes at Magnet, but this lab used to be a staple in the freshmen year experience. It involved hole punching spinach and watching it gradually float in water, under a colored light. This lab was about as fun as it sounds. It’s been a while since this lab, but I remember playing music to encourage the spinach piece to float and being utterly confused during the lab write-up. 

I think most Magnet students would agree that the English summer reading is pretty brutal, but by far the hardest is the freshmen summer reading assignment. Maybe it’s a way to weed out the weak. I’ve been told that the summer reading has changed over the years, but I will never forget the one I completed. It included Things Fall Apart, Bless Me Ultima, and Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes. You also had to write an essay for Things Fall Apart, fill out a chart for Bless Me Ultima, and complete this table for Mythology. In my humble opinion, this is the most boring selection of books that all the reading assignments have to offer. Yams will forever be tainted by Things Fall Apart. 

The next two assignments are not ones that I personally endured, but my peers have told me they definitely belong on the list. A certain former chemistry teacher’s problem sets tormented half the class of 2023 for an entire sophomore year. These problem sets were next to impossible and occasionally just impossible. I tried helping some of my classmates sophomore year with these questions, and could not figure out a single answer. 

These problem sets weren’t just a weight on my shoulders, they were a 2000 ton brick

— Lizzie Murray

Last but certainly not least, we have the all important National History Day. Again this is another bullet I dodged by taking AP World History freshman year, but the majority of the freshman had to complete this infamous group project. The gist of national history day is that a theme is given (for our year it was breaking barriers) and you have to make a history project related to that theme with a group or by yourself. You then have to give a presentation about this project. Students have described it as “a lot” and they “had no idea what they were doing.” They also said there was this pressure to make it to the national level which in hindsight seems kinda dumb. 

Well that’s all for the hardest Magnet assignments I’ve completed. Let me know if I got them all and what your hardest Magnet assignments were!